Interacting with Your Customers

When PepsiCo announced it wouldn't show a television commercial during the 2010 Super Bowl game, it came as a surprise (probably a pleasant one to its competitor, Coca-Cola, who had already signed on to show several Super Bowl commercials). What PepsiCo planned to do instead was invest $20 million into social media marketing campaigns. One of PepsiCo's most successful social media initiatives was to extend the DEWmocracy campaign, which two years earlier, resulted in the launch of product – Voltage – created by Mountain Dew fans. DEWmocracy 2 was a yearlong marketing campaign designed to create another Mountain Dew drink. The campaign was rolled out nationally in seven stages and engaged a number of social media outlets, including an online community of enthusiastic fans of Mountain Dew, Twitter, USTREAM (a live video streaming website), a video contest, and a dedicated YouTube channel. According to Mountain Dew's director of marketing, the goal of the campaign was "to engage in a direct dialogue with our consumers. And through this dialogue really start what we like to call a social movement in order to create this innovation". The flavors created through fan input are Whiteout (a citrus flavor that is white), Typhoon (a punch flavor), and Distortion (a hint of lime). All three flavors were launched in the spring of 2010, and it was up to the fans to select the best flavor, which would become a permanent member of Mountain Dew's offerings. And the winner was Whiteout". In addition to using fans to select the best flavors, the campaign used forums and live chats to allow fans to create the packaging, graphics, and social marketing for the products using viral videos, Twitter, and professional commercials.

Speaking of professional commercials, all you Super Bowl fans and followers of Super Bowl ads will be glad to hear that PepsiCo reversed its position, and its ads were showcased in the 2011 Super Bowl. It was likely a little jealous of its competitor, Coca-Cola, who was very effective at combining its Super Bowl ads with a social media campaign. Facebook fans who went online and donated $1 to the Boys & Girls Club of America received an image of a Coca-Cola bottle to post on their Facebook page and a twenty-second sneak preview of one of Coca-Cola's Super Bowl ads".